augusta free press news

Charlottesville community fights back

aug. 12One year after the white supremacist assault on Charlottesville, anti-racist students, clergy, and community members will come together in a wide range of events for healing, repair, and to continue to confront all forms of white supremacy.

Highlights include:

Cville Fights Back Poster Launch Party
Sunday, August 5, 2:30-4:30 PM
Champion Brewery

Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) Charlottesville has 1,000 free posters designed by a local artist of color that highlight local campaigns and ongoing work to eradicate white supremacy in our town: removing the monuments, getting ICE out of Cville, supporting housing justice, “no unity without justice,” and demanding that UVA meet the demands of student survivors of the August 11 white supremacist torch rally at UVA. At this event, SURJ will be giving away posters and suggesting how community members can use the posters over the anniversary weekend.

“Now is the time to address the everyday White Supremacy in Charlottesville that made fascists target us in the first place: we will take down all monuments to White Supremacy, kick ICE out of Charlottesville to end deportations; and end housing discrimination, segregation, and displacement, for starters. And we also demand accountability and action from UVA and the City of Charlottesville for complicity in last summer’s white supremacist attacks.” — Grace Aheron, organizer with SURJ Charlottesville

Charlottesville Civil Rights Pilgrimage Report Back
Sunday August 5
Jefferson School African American Heritage Center 

One hundred Charlottesville community leaders and resident delegates traveled by bus July 8-13 on a six-day Civil Rights Pilgrimage to bring back lessons learned from 400 years of Black resistance to racial violence and terror, symbolized by their delivery of soil from the 1898 Charlottesville lynching site of John Henry James to the newEqual Justice Initiative (EJI) Legacy Museum in Montgomery, AL. On the way they visited iconic Civil Rights Movement sites throughout the South, e.g. Danville (VA), Greensboro (NC), Atlanta (GA), and Birmingham (AL).

“Charlottesville —and the nation— need to understand how the violent white supremacist rallies of last summer fit into a long legacy of racial terror. On the cusp of the anniversary of the white supremacist attacks last August, the 100 delegates on the Charlottesville Civil Rights Pilgrimage have returned ready to sow this truth throughout our community. People cannot arrive at empathy or understanding if they do not share the same undeniable truths about what has happened right here, in the present and in the past.” — Dr. Andrea Douglas, Executive Director of the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center, co-organizer of the Charlottesville Civil Rights Pilgrimage

“Why We Protest”
Tuesday August 7, 7:00-8:30 pm
Jefferson School African American Heritage Center

Charlottesville’s chapter of Black Lives Matter (BLM) sponsors this activists’ panel featuring: Dr. Lisa Woolfork (BLM); Rev. Britt “Smash” Conley of Congregate Charlottesville; Ibby Han of UVA Students United; Dolly Joseph, a local community organizer; and Anna of SURJ.

“When the “alt-right” was metastasizing from 2015 to 2017, they intended for the August 12, 2017, Unite the Right rally to be their victory march. But the resistance they met from anti-racists in Charlottesville has been a model to other communities, and has slowed their growth. Local anti-racist activists will discuss why they don’t “just ignore” white supremacists who gather in public spaces, and explain the importance of visible and vocal protest and direct action in thwarting the spread of fascism.” — Dr. Jalane Schmidt, organizer with BLM Charlottesville

Lawyers’ panel on Free Speech and Anti-Racism
Wednesday August 8, 7:00-8:30 PM
Jefferson School African American Heritage Center

Sponsored by SURJ Charlottesville, this panel discussion will address how platitudes about “free speech” are used to undermine anti-racist work. White supremacist organizers often use false claims of “free speech” rights to convince institutions such as courts or academia to acquiesce to their violent ideology. At the same time, we have seen these institutions, including UVA, more often clamp down on the free speech rights of anti-racist activists who seek to get past “civility” to really confront the structures of white supremacy. Panelists include: Anne Coughlin, University of Virginia School of Law; Kim Rolla, Legal Aid Justice Center and National Lawyers Guild; and Ben Doherty, University of Virginia Law Library and SURJ Cville.

“This panel will step past platitudes and theoretical notions of the First Amendment to really confront how false notions of ‘free speech’ are used to hinder anti-racist work.”— Ben Doherty, organizer with SURJ Charlottesville

Congregate Charlottesville: A Service for Repair
Saturday, August 11, 3:00 PM
First Presbyterian Church

Congregate Charlottesville’s equips and prepares people of faith to bear public witness to injustice and educates faith communities on issues of justice and liberation. Many of its members were on the front lines on August 12. They will be holding a a service of remembrance for a community in need of repair. The service will be lead by women of color.

“We do well to remember that, try as some of us did, we were not prepared for August 11 and August 12. We do well to remember that the police, hired to serve and protect this community, stood down and did not protect us. We do even better to remember that White supremacy is a lie, which we must no longer allow ourselves, our community, our religious organizations, or our laws to be infected by. We can do better, be better, if we remember, and work together, to take off our masks, in beautiful, ugly Charlottesville, Virginia.” — Pastor Brenda Brown-Grooms, New Beginnings Christian Community

UVA Students United: Rally for Justice
Saturday, August 11, 7:00 – 9:00 PM
Rotunda, University of Virginia

UVA students and community activists will reclaim the North Plaza of the Rotunda and demand justice for those who have suffered at the hands of white supremacy. While UVA police and officials protected tiki torch-wielding Nazis, they failed to protect students defending the University. Although the University has announced restricted access to this site, students, faculty, and supporters are nevertheless planning to march.

“On August 11th last year, I watched hundreds of torch-wielding Nazis invade the very same Lawn that I had walked down for graduation, just a few months prior. The white supremacists engulfed the few of us who had shown up to say no to fascism. The University of Virginia Administration’s inaction that night emboldened white supremacists to be even more violent the next day on August 12. No number of “healing vigils” or “unity concerts” can ever rectify what happened that night on UVA’s campus. We need real action from the Administration: they must ban from Grounds ALL identifiable white supremacists who participated in the torch attack; they must pay for ALL the medical bills of survivors of the attack; and they must strongly condemn white supremacy and vow to combat it in all its forms.” — Ibby Han, Director, Virginia Student Power Network

UVA Students United: Call for Solidarity Actions Nationwide
August 11-12


UVA students and Charlottesville community members have released the #FightWithCville toolkit, which calls for solidarity actions across the nation on August 11th-12th, 2018, in commemoration of the 1-year anniversary of the white supremacist attacks in Charlottesville, VA. The purpose of the toolkit is to guide students and other activists across the country to show solidarity with Charlottesville in the fight against white supremacy in all its forms. The toolkit provides an outline of key organizing principles, ideas for different kinds of actions organizers might choose, and a list of campaigns within the anti-fascist anti-racist mobilization in Charlottesville to encourage local organizers to move forward related campaigns in their own communities. Students ask solidarity organizers to use hashtags #FightWithCville and #Charlottesville on social media.

“By developing this toolkit we are sending a message to the world and asking the world to show up against white supremacy in whatever form. We want to see students, activists, and members of the global community rising up to fight fascism in their universities, local communities, and all institutions that uphold white supremacy and fascism. Cville fights back, and we are asking the world to fight back too!” — Kibiriti Majuto, organizer with UVA Students United